Cllr Cliff Jordan is the Leader of Norfolk County Council.
The Conservatives are the only ones with the ambition, the know-how, and the clear-headed but compassionate plan of action, to take Norfolk forward.
The last four years have seen no overall control. From 2013 to 2016, this meant an unholy Labour-led alliance, with UKIP and the Lib Dems in support. Three years of inaction, delay, and the re-introduction of the outdated committee system.
Only in the last year have the Conservatives been back, in minority control. In that one year, we have started repairing the damage of those three years, and getting the county moving forward. But there is much work to do, to fix the council, and to get the county moving. And that’s why a majority is so important.
The election is about so many issues. It’s about the money that’s spent in the county, young people’s futures, and vulnerable children and adults. It’s about getting the right infrastructure, maintaining the roads and protecting the environment. Norfolk has a long coastline, so coastal flooding is an important part of that.
As Conservatives, we actually care about the heartbeat of Norfolk. We want to improve everything about our county. We realise that money needs to be used wisely, and that council tax is kept to the absolute minimum. We care about families; everybody’s family. Increasing apprenticeships, helping bring new jobs to Norfolk, and building new homes on our land to support first-time buyers – these are our policies to support young people. We care about vulnerable people, young and old. This means building the momentum on our improvements to supporting young children in need; building new, small residential units to support young people leaving care; developing new care villages to help older people live independently in a safe environment; reviving the ‘Strong and Well’ programme, which helps those over the age of 80 get the services they need. In all these cases, we need to crack on.
We will place the people of Norfolk first in everything we do. This includes the county’s wildlife and environment – they’re all important – as is protecting air quality.
We mustn’t forget our history, like the museums, alongside all those other things we call front-line services: the fire service, libraries, recycling centres.
No ifs, no buts, a Conservative-run council will protect these services.
Norfolk is developing. As well as investing an extra £20million in our roads, we need to ensure that the county develops at the right pace, and with the right infrastructure. This must include the dualling of the A47, the western link of the Norwich Northern Distributor Road, the river crossing at Great Yarmouth and the Long Stratton bypass. We cannot afford for Norfolk to be left behind, but will push to ensure the infrastructure comes first, before the housing.
In short, we have a plan, and need urgently to crack on. Our administration will care, and put the people of Norfolk first: listen to their concerns and get the job done.